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Academic Writing Courses

Below are the course descriptions for the English courses offered for Fall 2023. Click the course title to read the full description and see the book list for each course.听

EN 1000 Sections

EN 1000A: ALTERED STATES with Professor Mott

Family Matters: 鈥淎ll happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.鈥 These lines by Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina point to the often contorted, always intense connection between individuals and the families to which they belong and oftentimes distance themselves. Is the 'happy' family simply a myth, especially when jealousy, poverty, social exclusion or politics and policing rear their ugly heads? Or when children and spouses are mistreated and neglected? What prompts young individuals to (re)create family with their peers instead of their families? This College Writing course will explore, through film and literature, the countless ways different characters respond to the family pressures which alternately define, nourish, and sometimes smother them.听 Depending on the social norms and culture, family breakdowns may occur in the form of violence, intimidation, drug addiction and alcoholism, crime and corruption. Each work we study this term will offer rare glimpses into both traditional and contemporary family structures inviting us to investigate the different ways we 鈥榢now鈥 ourselves and family, and the many ways we deceive ourselves about we think we know. Primarily, though, this is a WRITING course, and so writing is what we will do, a lot. Students will learn that writing is a process of forming and refining ideas, honing your prose and enjoying every single minute of doing so.

Books / films:

Tennessee Williams, Streetcar Named Desire

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

James Baldwin, 鈥淪onny鈥檚 Blues鈥 鈥淭wo Kinds,鈥 Amy Tam

Alice Walker, 鈥淓veryday Use鈥

Wes Anderson, The Royal Tenenbaums

EN 1000B: FAMILY MATTERS with Professor Mott

鈥淎ll happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.鈥 These lines by Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karenina point to the often contorted, always intense connection between individuals and the families to which they belong and oftentimes distance themselves. Is the 'happy' family simply a myth, especially when jealousy, poverty, social exclusion or politics and policing rear their ugly heads? Or when children and spouses are mistreated and neglected? What prompts young individuals to (re)create family with their peers instead of their families? This College Writing course will explore, through film and literature, the countless ways different characters respond to the family pressures which alternately define, nourish, and sometimes smother them.听 Depending on the social norms and culture, family breakdowns may occur in the form of violence, intimidation, drug addiction and alcoholism, crime and corruption. Each work we study this term will offer rare glimpses into both traditional and contemporary family structures inviting us to investigate the different ways we 鈥榢now鈥 ourselves and family, and the many ways we deceive ourselves about we think we know. Primarily, though, this is a WRITING course, and so writing is what we will do, a lot. Students will learn that writing is a process of forming and refining ideas, honing your prose and enjoying every single minute of doing so.

Books / films:

  • Tennessee Williams, Streetcar Named Desire
  • Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
  • James Baldwin, 鈥淪onny鈥檚 Blues鈥 鈥淭wo Kinds,鈥 Amy Tam
  • Alice Walker, 鈥淓veryday Use鈥
  • Wes Anderson, The Royal Tenenbaums
EN 1000C: ON THE MOVE with Professor Rast

People move. We change homes, schools, jobs or sometimes countries. We leave one neighbourhood, city, region or country for another, and in so doing we confront new habits, traditions, cultures and languages. We move into worlds that welcome, worlds that ignore, worlds that reject, or worlds that show indifference. One place may feel suddenly foreign, while another feels like home. Personal journeys take place during these moves, creating life stories. In this course we will contemplate these life stories and the implications of personal journeys on individual and collective experience and identity. Based on films and readings, we will experiment with academic, journalistic and creative writing, always working towards developing your own voice in written and spoken English.听

叠辞辞办蝉:听

  • Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Shadow of the Sun
  • Julie Otsuka, When the Emperor was Divine
  • Additional readings and films
EN 1000D

EN1000: Emphasizes the stages required to produce a polished, articulate essay by practicing the necessary components of excellent academic writing: sharpening critical thinking skills, organizing ideas, choosing appropriate and dynamic words, varying prose style, editing, refining, and proofreading.

EN 1010 Sections

EN 1010A: THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR AND THE ETHICS OF INTERPRETATION with Caitlyn Lesiuk

EN1010: Are authors inextricably connected to the books they write? Does it matter if a text was AI generated, or written by a woman under a pseudonymous male name in the 1800s? This course will critically examine 鈥榯he death of the author鈥, asking who has the final word on what a text means.

Books:

  • Plato, The Last Days of Socrates
  • Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova
  • Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre听
  • Samuel Beckett, Mercier and Camier
  • Jean Rhys, Wild Sargasso Sea听
EN 1010B: COLLEGE WRITING with Professor Staff
EN 1010C: COLLEGE WRITING with Professor Staff
EN 1010D: COLLEGE WRITING with Professor Tresilian

Ideas of the Other: This course looks at ideas of self and other as these are expressed in selected literary texts. It starts with ideas of otherness, sexual and cultural, as expressed in a major work of ancient Greek tragedy, Euripides鈥檚 Medea, before moving on to the representation of cultural and racial otherness in Shakespeare鈥檚 Othello, one of the English Renaissance dramatist鈥檚 four major tragedies. The course examines how the other or outsider can be seen as at once seductive and disruptive, forcing a reconsideration of hierarchies of sex and power. Longer prose works read in the course, Defoe鈥檚 Robinson Crusoe and Stoker鈥檚 Dracula, examine the possibilities and anxieties associated with the opening up of the wider world. While Defoe is writing during the heroic phase of early capitalist expansion, his lonely protagonist exploiting and reordering the non-European world, Stoker鈥檚 wildly popular horror novel dramatizes late-Victorian anxieties of invasion in lurid and melodramatic terms. Kafka鈥檚 The Trial presents a world in which the individual is alienated and alone in the face of a thoroughly modern style of bureaucracy, while Tayeb Salih鈥檚 Season of Migration to the North, a Sudanese rewriting of themes from Othello, reverses the gaze of Shakespeare鈥檚 play in a twentieth-century tale of otherness at home and abroad.

Books:

Euripides, Medea and Other Plays

Salih, Season of Migration to the North

Shakespeare, Othello

Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

Stoker, Dracula

Kafka, The Trial

EN 1010 E: COLLEGE WRITING with Professor Staff
EN 1010 F: COLLEGE WRITING with Professor Harding

The Writer鈥檚 World: When we read, we enter a different world, travelling in an unknown country where some things are familiar, others strange and new; our adjustment to this theatre of the real reconstructs our own world, emotionally, morally, politically. Empathy arises in the midst of this strangeness, and we find ourselves (in many senses) in the place of the other. As our contemporary world is more and more violently tested, our course looks at this intensely powerful creative process. We begin with one of the greatest and freshest theatrical representations of emotional exploration, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, reading substantially from the point of view of the actor exploring a role. Xavier de Maistre鈥檚 playfully profound conversation with himself in his Voyage Around My Room, written under house arrest in 1790 with no intention of publication, announces the ironic solitude of nineteenth century Romanticism, but speaks volumes to our own experience of lockdown. We enter the surreal, grotesque and poignant world of Russia鈥檚 encounter with modernity in Gogol鈥檚 tales. We end with three very different, fragmented narratives of life in the twentieth century, from Persian and Japanese explorations of the imaginary and the real, of worlds inner and outer, and somewhere in between, to our final text, a selection of Carver鈥檚 short stories, turned into a memorable film by Robert Altman, with which we shall finish our course.

Books:

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Xavier de Maistre, Voyage Around My Room

Nikolai Gogol, Collected Tales

Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories

Yasunari Kawabata, Palm of the Hand Stories

Sadegh Hedayat, Three Drops of Blood

Raymond Carver, Short Cuts

EN 1010 G: COLLEGE WRITING with Professor Craven

EN1010: By engaging with major works of World Literature across genres, time-periods and cultures, you will be able to read critically, recognise historical contexts, and craft well-structured academic arguments in oral and written form. All EN1010 classes help you fulfil the 鈥淐ritical Inquiry and Expression鈥 core curriculum requirement.听听

EN 1010 H: THE WRITER鈥橲 WORLD with Professor Harding

When we read, we enter a different world, travelling in an unknown country where some things are familiar, others strange and new; our adjustment to this theatre of the real reconstructs our own world, emotionally, morally, politically. Empathy arises in the midst of this strangeness, and we find ourselves (in many senses) in the place of the other. As our contemporary world is more and more violently tested, our course looks at this intensely powerful creative process. We begin with one of the greatest and freshest theatrical representations of emotional exploration, Shakespeare's听Romeo and Juliet, reading substantially from the point of view of the actor exploring a role.听Xavier de听Maistre鈥檚听playfully profound conversation with himself in his Voyage Around My Room, written under house arrest in 1790 with no intention of publication, announces the ironic solitude of nineteenth century Romanticism, but speaks volumes to our own experience of lockdown. We enter the surreal, grotesque and poignant world of Russia鈥檚 encounter with modernity in Gogol鈥檚 tales. We end with three very different, fragmented narratives of life in the twentieth century, from Persian and Japanese explorations of the imaginary and the real, of worlds inner and outer, and somewhere in between, to our final text, a selection of Carver鈥檚 short stories, turned into a memorable film by Robert Altman, with which we shall finish our course.

EN1010: By engaging with major works of World Literature across genres, time-periods and cultures, you will be able to read critically, recognise historical contexts, and craft well-structured academic arguments in oral and written form. All EN1010 classes help you fulfil the 鈥淐ritical Inquiry and Expression鈥 core curriculum requirement.听听

Books:

  • William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  • Xavier de Maistre, Voyage Around My Room
  • Nikolai Gogol, Collected Tales
  • Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories
  • Yasunari Kawabata, Palm of the Hand Stories
  • Sadegh Hedayat, Three Drops of Blood
  • Raymond Carver, Short Cuts
EN 1010 I: THE WRITER鈥橲 WORLD with Professor Harding

When we read, we enter a different world, travelling in an unknown country where some things are familiar, others strange and new; our adjustment to this theatre of the real reconstructs our own world, emotionally, morally, politically. Empathy arises in the midst of this strangeness, and we find ourselves (in many senses) in the place of the other. As our contemporary world is more and more violently tested, our course looks at this intensely powerful creative process. We begin with one of the greatest and freshest theatrical representations of emotional exploration, Shakespeare's听Romeo and Juliet, reading substantially from the point of view of the actor exploring a role.听Xavier de听Maistre鈥檚听playfully profound conversation with himself in his Voyage Around My Room, written under house arrest in 1790 with no intention of publication, announces the ironic solitude of nineteenth century Romanticism, but speaks volumes to our own experience of lockdown. We enter the surreal, grotesque and poignant world of Russia鈥檚 encounter with modernity in Gogol鈥檚 tales. We end with three very different, fragmented narratives of life in the twentieth century, from Persian and Japanese explorations of the imaginary and the real, of worlds inner and outer, and somewhere in between, to our final text, a selection of Carver鈥檚 short stories, turned into a memorable film by Robert Altman, with which we shall finish our course.

EN1010: By engaging with major works of World Literature across genres, time-periods and cultures, you will be able to read critically, recognise historical contexts, and craft well-structured academic arguments in oral and written form. All EN1010 classes help you fulfil the 鈥淐ritical Inquiry and Expression鈥 core curriculum requirement.听听

Books:

  • William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
  • Xavier de Maistre, Voyage Around My Room
  • Nikolai Gogol, Collected Tales
  • Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party and Other Stories
  • Yasunari Kawabata, Palm of the Hand Stories
  • Sadegh Hedayat, Three Drops of Blood
  • Raymond Carver, Short Cuts
EN 1010 J: DISOBEDIENCE with Aurelien Bellucci

As she disobeys kingly orders to offer her brother a proper burial, Antigone stands out as a paradigmatic example in a series of insubordinate characters who defy authorities. Focusing on such disobedient figures in a variety of contexts, this course explores the literary and political potential of insubordination in world literature through close-reading of dramatic masterpieces and close-watching of recent adaptations. We will study how fiction may suggest an alternative to established social structures and how theater puts this alternative into action. Drawing on the examples of disobedient characters, students will hone their writing skills in different genres and learn how to identify and question narrative structures, dramatic illusions, and how to comment on works of art through informed, persuasive, and original argumentation.听

Books:

  • Sophocles, Antigone听
  • Shudraka, The Little Clay Cart听
  • Guan Hanqing, Snow in Midsummer听
  • 惭辞濒颈猫谤别, Tartuffe听
  • Wole Soyinka, Death and the King鈥檚 Horseman听
EN 1010 K: DISOBEDIENCE with Aurelien Bellucci

As she disobeys kingly orders to offer her brother a proper burial, Antigone stands out as a paradigmatic example in a series of insubordinate characters who defy authorities. Focusing on such disobedient figures in a variety of contexts, this course explores the literary and political potential of insubordination in world literature through close-reading of dramatic masterpieces and close-watching of recent adaptations. We will study how fiction may suggest an alternative to established social structures and how theater puts this alternative into action. Drawing on the examples of disobedient characters, students will hone their writing skills in different genres and learn how to identify and question narrative structures, dramatic illusions, and how to comment on works of art through informed, persuasive, and original argumentation.听

Books:

  • Sophocles, Antigone听
  • Shudraka, The Little Clay Cart听
  • Guan Hanqing, Snow in Midsummer听
  • 惭辞濒颈猫谤别, Tartuffe听
  • Wole Soyinka, Death and the King鈥檚 Horseman

EN 2020 Sections

EN 2020 A: WRITING AND CRITICISM with Professor Dow

Cruel Encounters: This course invites students to consider the role of cruelty in our encounters with literary and literary-journalistic works. As a concept that defines a relation to suffering, cruelty demands reexamination of many notions we have about ourselves. What can literature and other narrative forms show us about how we respond鈥攐r fail to respond鈥攖o the pain of others? How do texts mediate our perceptions of others and of our relationships or obligations to others? How do fictional works complicate our efforts to distance ourselves from cruelty? Is there something distinctive about how cruelty functions in narrative texts? In examining a range of works from Renaissance England to Depression-era America, from post-war France to postcolonial India, we will see how encounters with literary cruelty might alter our awareness of the ethical stakes of reading.

EN2020: By engaging with major works of World Literature across genres, time-periods and cultures, you will be able to sharpen your critical reading skills, compare historical contexts, and craft independent, well-researched academic arguments in oral and written form. All EN2020 classes help you fulfil the 鈥淐ritical Inquiry and Expression鈥 core curriculum requirement.听听

Books:

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Albert Camus, The Outsider

Richard Wright, Native Son

Frederick Douglass, Narrative

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

EN 2020 B: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Hollinshead-Strick

Networks of Transmission: The movement of people and of information is historically linked with markets as meeting places and as networks for media transmission. Books that explicitly or implicitly take into account their own circulation are often engaging with their place in an economy. This course will explore a range of literary anxieties about and hopes for textual transmission of messages. Written language, be it spells or translations, legal documents, or clich茅d speech, reflects on its own purpose in the works we will be reading. By monitoring the motives for and the consequences of those reflections, we will consider how books have been engaging with questions of their own physical existence and circulation since well before their electronic transmission became a possibility.听听Readings will include: Homer, The Odyssey, Shakespeare, The Tempest, selections from Cervantes, Don Quixote, Melville, 鈥淏artleby the Scrivener鈥, and Flaubert, Madame Bovary.

EN2020: By engaging with major works of World Literature across genres, time-periods and cultures, you will be able to sharpen your critical reading skills, compare historical contexts, and craft independent, well-researched academic arguments in oral and written form. All EN2020 classes help you fulfil the 鈥淐ritical Inquiry and Expression鈥 core curriculum requirement.听听

Books:

Homer, The Odyssey

Shakespeare, The Tempest

Cervantes, Don Quixote

Herman Melville, 鈥淏artleby the Scrivener鈥

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

EN 2020 C: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Dwibedy
EN 2020 D: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Dwibedy
EN 2020 E: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Staff
EN 2020 F: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Dwibedy
EN 2020 G: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Staff
EN 2020 H: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Tresilian

Questioning the Self: 鈥榃hat a piece of work is a man. How noble in reason. How infinite in faculty. In form and moving how express and admirable. In action how like an angel. In apprehension how like a god.鈥 Hamlet鈥檚 words from Shakespeare鈥檚 play express optimism about human possibilities, ironically placing them in the mouth of one of the dramatist鈥檚 most self-conflicted protagonists. This course will look at a range of works with such self-questioning in mind. Who am I? What am I? What kinds of relationship do I have with others? Even with myself? It starts with 鈥楢ntigone,鈥 a work of ancient Greek tragedy having much to say about social and moral bonds. 鈥楬amlet鈥 introduces the liberal themes of self and society, separating private conscience from public roles and the range of selves presented to others. Mary Shelley鈥檚 鈥楩rankenstein鈥, written against the background of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the growth of the factory system, poses the question of human possibilities anew, this time in terms of scientific discovery.听 Freud鈥檚 鈥楩ragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria鈥 and Woolf鈥檚 鈥楻oom of One鈥檚 Own鈥 present new ways of writing about the self, whether in terms of psychoanalysis or against the background of political and social change, while Sartre鈥檚 Nausea draws together themes of self and society, personal identity and social relations, in the context of an elaborate philosophical system.

听Books:

Sophocles, Theban Plays

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Virginia Woolf, A Room Of One's Own.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

Sigmund Freud, Complete Psychological Works Volume Seven.

EN 2020 I: WRITING AND CRITICISM with Professor Harding

Normality and Trangression: Notions of what is normal and what is abnormal are at the heart of our experience of reading, as of our experience of the world. To what extent transgression, the violation of laws, is a necessary component of 鈥榦riginal鈥 experience, to what extent it remains outside what we think we desire, or should desire, are central components of the texts on our course. We begin with Homer鈥檚 epic of human identity, where transgression metamorphoses into a mode of fate as the human world defines itself in centrifugal translations through time and space, with "powers to draw a man to ruin.鈥 Carroll鈥檚 classic exploration of the limits of 鈥渘ormality鈥 in Wonderland, lived through the eyes of a young girl, leads us to the Japanese 鈥渉eart of things鈥 in one of the world鈥檚 great novels of the inner life, Soseki鈥檚 Kokoro. We read two English feminist writers on the intensely repressive or liberating experience of transgression, in May Sinclair鈥檚 miniature life of Harriet Frean, and Woolf鈥檚 transgender, transhistorical fantasy Orlando. We go to Nigeria to a tale that scandalized the normalizing literary establishment in the postcolonial transition, and end with the deceptively casual freedoms of the great American poet Frank O鈥橦ara.

Books:

Homer, The Odyssey

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Natsume Soseki, Kokoro

May Sinclair, Life and Death of Harriet Frean

Virginia Woolf, Orlando

Amos Tutuola, The Palm Wine Drinkard

Frank O鈥橦ara, Selected Poems

EN 2020 J: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Kinne

This course proposes a variety of texts by women that explore the meaning of the 鈥渂order.鈥 Beginning with the poetry of Sappho in Ancient Greece and then moving to the siglo d鈥檕ro poetry and feminist writings of Sor Juana In茅s de la Cruz in Mexico, the primary focus will be on works of Latina literature produced by Mexican American, Chicano, and Hispanic Caribbean Diaspora authors. Our theoretical framework will be provided in part by Chicana feminist authors such as Gloria Anzald煤a and Cherrie Moraga who provide conceptualizations of the border and hybrid identities, the meaning of mestizaje, and theorize Latina genders and sexualities. The rich diversity of Spanglish poetry and prose will be savored through the Nuyorican tradition.

Books:

A selection of poems by Sappho (Greece, 620 BCE-550 BCE)

Alvarez, Julia. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents.

Braschi, Giannina. Yo-Yo Boing!

Cap贸 Crucet, Jennine. Make Your Home Among Strangers.

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street.

De la Luz, Caridad. Selected poems.

Esteves, Sandra Mar铆a. Selected poems.

Garc铆a, Cristina. Dreaming in Cuban.

Mariposa. Selected poems.

Mercado, Nancy. Selected poems.

Reyna, Grande. The Distance Between Us.

Rivera Vald茅s, Sonia. The Forbidden Stories of Marta Veneranda.

Viramontes, Helena Maria. Their Dogs Came With Them.

EN 2020 K: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Staff
EN 2020 L: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Gunn

Altered States: This Writing and Criticism course will look at different ways in which literature has represented 鈥榓ltered states鈥. What are the different sorts of state to which literature can give access, and how does it help to define or reinterpret notions of normality? Among the different sorts of 鈥榚cstasy鈥 which we shall look at are those induced by love, by rage, by madness, by alienation, and by repression. And underlying our enquiry will be always the concern for how the written word can give access to greater realms of thought and of feeling than are usually recognised. An emphasis will be placed in this course on regular written expression, as students try to mediate between their readings of works of literature and their own experience in and of the world.

听Books:

Georges Perec: W or The Memory of Childhood (Godine)

Franz Kafka: Selected stories (Everyman)

Henry James: The Turn of the Screw (Penguin)

Shakespeare: Measure for Measure (New Cambridge)

Muriel Spark: The Driver鈥檚 Seat (Penguin)

Various: Blackboard

EN 2020 M: WRITING & CRITICISM with Professor Staff
EN 2020 N: DESIRE AND TRANSFORMATION with Hannah Garner

Stories fuelled by romantic desire have shaped the arc of literary history. How do these texts represent human desire and its ability to transform us? Our class will explore desire鈥檚 transformative faculties鈥攁nd its impact on literary form鈥攖hrough myths, fairy tales, poetry, novels, and film.

EN 2020 O: WRITING AND CRITICISM with Yuliya Tsutserova

EN2020: By engaging with major works of World Literature across genres, time-periods and cultures, you will be able to sharpen your critical reading skills, compare historical contexts, and craft independent, well-researched academic arguments in oral and written form. All EN2020 classes help you fulfil the 鈥淐ritical Inquiry and Expression鈥 core curriculum requirement.听听听听